Saturday, August 24, 2013

Discerning Genes Prolong Life

No sooner had I read this passage from tomorrow's NYT Sunday magazine

Our genes may have a more elevated moral sense than our minds do, according to a new study of the genetic effects of happiness. They can, it seems, reward us with healthy gene activity when we’re unselfish — and chastise us, at a microscopic level, when we put our own needs and desires first.

Then I opened my email to read the Moravian Daily Text, read by millions around the world. This Hebrew bible verse was chosen by lot.  

Whoever is steadfast in righteousness will live, but whoever pursues evil will die. Proverbs 11:19
The NYT essay reveals the research behind the idea that genes are smart enough to discern moral codes. The blood of hedonistic people (mainly concerned about themselves) contained more cells that result in disease (cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular) than the blood of people who focused on a higher purpose and service to others. Moreover, the hedonistic group had fewer antibodies that fight off infections. 

I could not keep myself from noting the coincidence. The Hebrew Bible verses for each day are drawn by lot, and one pastor adds a New Testament verse, a prayer, and a hymn.

The added verse is a joyful one that can be enjoyed by all.

I have a hope in God that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous. Acts 24:15Dear God, as your righteousness extends to us, help us extend righteousness to your children everywhere. At home, at work, and at play may we be clothed in you. We are your children, everywhere. Amen.

PS: These verses below supposedly have nothing to do with the above. They are the "read through the Bible" lectionary verses. But it is intriguing to try to discern their connections.
Saturday, August 24 -- Psalm 103:1-5
Jeremiah 23:1-32; 1 Timothy 5:9-16

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